Natural Ways to Curb Cravings
Nutrition is everything. It’s the foundation for our mood, weight, and overall health and functioning. It is information, it is fuel, it is … delicious. The key is balance. How can you enjoy food while cultivating good health? How can you combat cravings and maintain a healthy weight? Read on for our top tips to help you eat better - and feel better.
Eat More Whole Foods - skip the processed junk, and go back to basics. Let real, whole foods be the foundation for your diet. Rather than focusing on deprivation, focus on replacing and adding in more good stuff! Make it fun by trying new recipes, incorporating spices and different flavors, and eating mindfully!
Boost Gut Health – add high quality probiotics to your regimen for health and weight management, preferably from fermented foods like pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, and kombucha. Gut bacteria plays a huge role in over health, including mood, mental functioning, immune function, nutrient absorption, inflammation, digestion, autoimmune issues, and cravings! Set yourself up for success by cultivating a healthy gut microbiome! Some strains of probiotics have also been linked to specific functions, such as anxiety, depression, women’s health, and other areas! Drink or cook with bone broth for an extra gut-friendly boost. Bone broth heals the gut lining while also providing beneficial amino acids, essential fats acids, and other nutrients. What’s more, bone broth supports bone and joint health, better sleep, skin, hair, nails, immunity, and more.
Try Acupuncture - research has found that acupuncture can aid in weight-loss, perhaps by helping manage food addiction. It has also been found to be beneficial for mood and stress, which also impact our eating habits and cravings.
Eat Regularly - and don’t skip meals! Skipping meals can cause blood sugar crashes that cause cravings, irritability, brain fog, headaches, and other issues. It can also make you feel MUCH hunger later. To minimize meal skipping, plan ahead! Pack meals for work and outings, keep a stash of healthy snacks in your office or car, and consider meal prepping on the weekends if your weekdays tend to be chaotic. Special note: some people incorporate intermittent or other types of fasting; this isn’t the same as skipping meals throughout the day, but rather, is a structured nutritional approach. Do your research and consult with a doctor, or contact us about our food therapy and health coaching services.
Make Healthy Swaps - don’t be afraid to get creative with this! Incorporate different flavors like sweet, tart, savory, and salty to curb cravings and make meals more enticing. Enjoy a sprinkle of cinnamon on an apple or sweet potato, add fresh fruit to a salad or other dish, try new spices, or try baking from scratch with healthier ingredients.
Get Back on Track - don’t punish yourself for overindulging, just get back on track with healthy eating.
Remember Mindfulness & Moderation - especially when you’re indulging in high calorie and/or less healthy foods. Nutrition, like all things in life, is about balance. If you’re going to indulge in something decadent, really savor every bite, slowly and intentionally. Practice eating mindfully on a regular basis - turn the television off, put the phone down, connect with loved ones and really taste your food.
Get Sufficient Sleep – sleep deprivation greatly impacts our health and functioning, and our weight and eating habits. Lack of sleep increases ghrelin, which is our body’s hunger hormone; it is also decreases leptin, which is our fullness / satiation hormone. Not getting enough sleep also impacts cognitive function, mood, stress, blood sugar, and metabolism. Trouble sleeping? Acupuncture can help - contact us to learn more!
Remember Your Vitamins – nutrient deficiencies can cause health issues, as well as mood issues and food cravings. Common vitamin deficiencies include vitamin D and magnesium; check with your doctor to get your levels checked if you have specific concerns, or schedule a food therapy appointment for custom guidance.
Stay Hydrated – did you know that thirst sometimes manifests as hunger? Drink water consistently throughout the day, and consider adding electrolytes to replenish during and/or after intense activity.
Remember to Breathe – and check in with yourself. Are you really hungry, or are you feeling bored, tired, or emotional? Drink a glass of water and take some time for reflection. Are you truly seeing signs of hunger - stomach rumbling, irritability, or a headache? If so, reach for something that is nutrient-rich to nix hunger the right way.
If you’re struggling with weight management and/or health issues, acupuncture and food therapy may be the answer you’ve been looking for! Contact us to schedule a consultation!
Maitland Acupuncture, Food Therapy & Holistic Services - located minutes from Winter Park, Oviedo, Altamonte Springs, and the Greater Orlando area.